Sawmill River Corridor Assessment Project

Project Description:

Since 2021, Franklin Conservation District has contracted Field Geology Services, Inc. to assess and map the Sawmill River corridor to ascertain the overall health of the Sawmill River watershed. On May 24, 2023, Nicolas Miller presented his research findings to town officials, residents, and Sawmill River watershed landowners in Montague, Massachusetts.

The river corridor includes the portion of the valley influenced by the stream processes of flooding, sediment deposition, and erosion. River corridor maps are important tools for river management and provide relevant information for current and future planning efforts, including the Montague Climate Resilient Comprehensive Plan which is currently under development. Landowners within the stream corridor can benefit by learning more about the stream running along their parcel and the extent, and character, of its corridor. Riparian buffer establishment or enhancement, invasive species mitigation, floodplain and side channel reconnection, large wood additions, removal of dams or remnant stream crossing structures, culvert upgrades, and river corridor easements are all tools that towns, river corridor landowners, and other partners can take advantage of as a part of responsible land stewardship. These practices can enhance instream and riparian habitat, increase climate resiliency, and mitigate fluvial erosion hazards.

This project was funded by a Conservation District Innovation Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. For more information, please contact Franklin Conservation District at

May 24, 2023 Sawmill River Corridor Meeting:

  • Presentation Slides: Sawmill River Corridor Presentation 2023-05-24.pdf
  • Meeting Recording, provided by MCTV:
    • Timestamp Index:
      • 0:00 Background - streams in New England
      • 15:55 What is a river corridor and how is it defined?
      • 21:03 REAL Corridor steps and methodology
      • 38:54 Fluvial Erosion hazards
      • 40:35 Potential uses of river corridor and fluvial erosion hazard data
      • 46:45 Restoration Project Examples
      • 52:30 Outreach and future work
      • 53:48 Q & A